The Importance of E-Commerce During COVID-19
E-Commerce has gained extensive popularity in the last few years. Companies like Amazon and Alibaba have become leaders in the E-Commerce space. As the digital age progresses, many other brands are now turning to E-Commerce to serve their customers. It is now common to order take-out and even buy groceries online! The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has dramatically changed the current business climate. Many are being overwhelmed with uncertainty. Unfortunately for some, the future of business looks grim. For stores that have closed their doors, for the time being, there are still viable methods of generating income! Having a reliable E-Commerce platform can help to create stable revenue and save your business!
This pandemic has affected consumer behavior. People are now choosing to shop online to avoid contact with others. A recent study reported a 40% increase in E-Commerce since the state of emergency was declared! Because of the current climate, there is ever-growing importance for businesses to offer an E-Commerce shopping experience. Aside from being a method of generating revenue, there are other benefits to providing your products online. During this time, it has never been so crucial for your business to have an online shopping platform.
Providing Convenience Through E-Commerce
Selling your products through an E-Commerce platform offers a convenient shopping experience for your customers. The term “convenience” has quickly changed over the last few years. Convenience was once a walk or quick drive to a local store. It was still a relatively simple process. However, it did require time and energy. Convenience has now morphed into something even more straightforward. Convenience is now achieved through a click of a button and from the comfort of your couch.
Having an online shopping platform provides the purest form of convenience for your customers. Your customers will be able to access all of your products through your website easily! They can learn about your products, compare prices, and make secure purchases from the comfort of their home. Your online store is also open 24/7, meaning people can buy when they want to! With social distancing in effect, it is becoming more difficult for people to shop traditionally. By shopping online, consumers get products shipped right to the door. Shopping has never been so convenient!
Even with the present threat to public safety, people are still very worldly and want to spend money. Many people are also shopping online to help fight boredom. The current climate presents the perfect opportunity, especially if your business is considered non-essential. Offering E-Commerce shopping opportunities means that consumers can still access your products in a super convenient way and fulfill their shopping needs! With people having to stay home, convenience and E-Commerce has never been so essential before.
Increasing Market Size
If your business operates typically in a brick and mortar store, you have already limited your market potential. The majority of your customers are likely from the same area as your business. While this statement may seem unfair, unless you sell a highly specialized product, people aren’t likely going to make a special trip to your store. Having an E-Commerce platform will increase your potential market size with minimal effort!
When people search for the types of products you sell, it increases the chance of them finding your website. No longer would you be limited to your geographical location, but could be selling your products all over the world! By optimizing your website, you can easily have it ranking high on the Google results page.
Your website needs to rank high on Google! Research shows that 73% of conversions happen on the first visit. Your site must be one of the primary ones consumers are visiting! Using E-Commerce can help you grow your potential market from a few thousand to a million, which is why having it available to consumers is so important, especially with COVID-19 and the current business climate.
Insights on Consumer Behaviour
Another benefit of having an E-Commerce platform is that it is highly trackable. All small businesses can benefit from understanding their customers better. When consumers visit your website, they provide a wealth of information. This information is useful in a variety of ways that can help you provide a better shopping experience for your customers. Knowing how shoppers interact with your website can help you develop new strategies and identify new business opportunities. There are many different things that you should be focusing on. When it comes to understanding consumer behavior, you should focus on:
- Key factors that can help you segment your customers
- How customers are interacting with your site
- How consumers reached your site
- The preferences of your customers and where they are visiting most
- What customers are using to access your site (mobile vs. desktop)
By understanding the motives of your customers, you can position your E-Commerce platform to suit their needs better. With COVID-19 drastically changing normal consumer behavior, this is an important time to understand your customers. You will also be able to create new marketing strategies to target customers more appropriately. Knowing your customers will help you provide them with a great shopping experience, and they will be likely to come back!
Programs to Help Gain Insights
Many useful programs can help you gain insights from your E-Commerce platform. Diving into collecting consumer data can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, it has never been easier to gain insights into your consumer’s behavior. Programs like Microsoft’s Power BI and Dynamics365 are both powerful analytics tools. They both allow data to stay in one convenient place and are relatively straightforward to use. Both programs are also highly customizable to help you track what matters most. Using these programs will help you stay informed and up-to-date on how consumers are interacting with your site!
Lower Variable Expenses through E-Commerce
Running traditional brick & mortar stores carry a lot of variable expenses. Costs related to staffing, maintenance, and utilities can quickly add up. The risks associated with COVID-19 means many businesses have closed their doors. Many, however, are still operating out of their traditional locations with extended measures to abide by COVID regulations. Doing this requires staff and an abundance of other expenses. With the current business environment, many businesses are no longer generating the same income as before. Making less money means that necessary operating expenses become harder to pay. This is why we are seeing so many businesses struggle right now!
Using E-Commerce, however, can help lower variable operating costs. Without needing as many staff to operate and minimizing work happening inside the store means that expenses will decrease. Any revenue generated can go towards more important expenses. Operating on an E-Commerce platform also helps lower advertising expenses that you could be spending on TV or radio ads. Instead, you can focus your ad budget on more cost-effective options such as social media and pay-per-click.
Survive With E-Commerce
You may have never considered using an E-Commerce platform for your business before. However, there is an increasing importance for companies to offer their products online. The current environment is making it challenging for companies to survive, especially those still relying on brick & mortar. It has never been so critical for small businesses to be available online! There are many benefits associated with providing online shopping, which is only being amplified by COVID-19. Having E-Commerce can help your business survive through these uncertain times!
If you want your business to survive this pandemic and are ready to start selling on your own E-Commerce platform, we would be happy to get it started for you!